Kate Phillips, Agfarm Regional Manager South Australia
Some parts of SA received a little rain this week. While these small falls were primarily in the northern grazing country, it was nice to get just enough to settle the dust. We are starting to feel as if autumn is finally here with the fresh mornings and cooler daytime temperatures.
More growers are getting sowing preparation underway, with kick off for some just around the corner. It looks like a few will make a start around the 15th of April with others following suit soon after with the traditional Anzac Day as the target. Everyone continues to watch the radar looking for a favourable forecast, but at this stage, there isn’t anything of too much significance.
Growers continue to be pretty well disengaged with the market with limited selling of old crop and, in my estimation, only about 5% forward selling of new crop. This is understandable with the current outlook. The South Australian domestic feed prices are likely to see some strengthening as stock feeders grain supplies start to run short and there is a long way between now and the next harvest. The caveat here is if we do see a significant rain event this will give the market some confidence on the coming season and will likely result in a softening in prices across the board.
The spread from malt to feed barley is non-existent but there are premiums to be found for the higher protein wheats. Watching the price change week on week is like watching a game of table tennis as it bounces around. The greatest upside this week is in the new crop multigrade wheat bids with Port Adelaide track just under the magic $300/MT level at $295/MT, Port Lincoln isn’t too far behind with bids around the $290/MT mark. The biggest softening came in the new crop barley market with bids sitting around the $220-225/MT mark. Some of this softening will be due to the increase barley hectares we expect to see go in this coming year, but again we may well see this continue to bounce around until both growers and buyers have a better outlook.
Prices as at 28th March
* View of current market pricing. Does not represent current Agfarm bids.